Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Kerry factor

Having admired Sen. John Kerry for decades, I was disappointed that he turned out to be such a poor national candidate in 2004.

To me, long before his career in public office, Kerry was just as much a patriot for what he did after his duty in Vietnam, as he was in volunteering to serve there. Some say his heartfelt congressional testimony, focused on what was going terribly wrong in Vietnam, was a betrayal. They are surely entitled to their opinion. I understand that view.

Still, I say it took guts to tell a part of the truth many people in power didn’t want to hear. And, I say he told what he knew to be the truth out of concern for his brothers, men who were still in harm’s way, and his nation’s best interests.

However, the shameless political opportunists who threw trash at Kerry’s service in Vietnam, in order to cut the legs off his run for the presidency, are people who are probably happy to do without my respect for them. They certainly don’t have it.

Returning to the matter of Kerry’s loss in 2004, many observers have said it was a failure of the whole Democratic Party. Or, they’ve made Republican strategist Karl Rove out to be a genius, for his successful role in steering the Bush administration’s propaganda juggernaut.

Well, I’m not going to say those two factors weren’t important, but I do want to emphasize there was a bigger factor: Kerry is a politician who is so bad at public speaking that he can’t even put a joke over in front of a friendly crowd.

In other words, John Kerry probably lost the 2004 election more than George Bush ever won it.

Which leads me to this: Kerry does a fine job of representing Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate, but he does a poor job of representing the Democratic Party as a spokesman. And, until Nov. 7th, I hope he stays in Boston or DeeCee and keeps his good intensions to himself.

So, the Dems should take heart from Kerry having reminded them of how bad he can be behind a microphone with his bumbling this week. Here is why: It was indeed the candidate, himself, who lost in 2004. The man at the top of the ticket was the weak link in the chain.

Moreover, Kerry now has to face the truth -- he should not be a national candidate again.

All partisan politics aside, people who can’t tell a joke well should not run for president. And, Democrats should think hard about how they choose their next national ticket.


Jason G said...

I don't know about Kerry's joke telling abilities, but I do know that without a backbone, you're bound to be less than graceful. The fact of the matter is that we ARE stuck in Iraq and Kerry was right about that two years ago. A much bigger contingent of the country has Kerry's back on that fact than during the presidential election. So, why the backpeddling and apologizing? Well, clearly Kerry (and possibly Democrats in general - although I vote for them with agnostic faith) are afraid to be right, afraid to hammer the last nail in dracula's coffin. They continually want to be the victim and jump at every opportunity to hand their authority over to the abusers of this country. Kerry! THIS IS YOUR ISSUE. CLAIM IT AND PLUNGE THE KNIFE DEEPER INTO THE DYING GOP. Or, you could just look out for your own neck and eek out a modest survival at the expense of the rest of us.

F.T. Rea said...

Of course Kerry was closer to being right about Iraq in 2004 than Bush was.

Unfortunately, two years ago Kerry couldn’t explain his rather unclear position on how to get out of Iraq well enough to convince enough voters to stop trusting Bush. Nor could he explain why he and so many other Democrats went along with/were cowed by Bush in 2002, when they should have been asking more questions.

On the other hand, Webb went on the record to stand against Bush in 2002 and I think voters see that difference and like it.